Archive | November, 2016

Aitken Spence Travels to handle Inaugural Charter Flight of Thomson Airways from the UK

10 Nov

Water Garland Welcome

Aitken Spence Travels will handle the inaugural charter of Thomson Airways scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on the 08th of November 2016 at 01.30 pm, carrying TUI clients from Thomsons and First Choice from London Gatwick.

The Dreamliner B787, the 300-seat aircraft will operate every Tuesday on a weekly basis during the period of November 2016 to April 2017. Aitken Spence Travels intends to serve over 7,000 visitors to Sri Lanka through this charter operation as the official ground handler pertaining to logistics, transport, accommodation and tours of all travellers arriving on board.

The company is confident that the revived charter business from the UK will benefit stakeholders of the Tourism industry in Sri Lanka. The last charter from the UK market was in 2010 since then it has taken much effort and dedication to convince the charter operators to resume their flights back to Sri Lanka considering the aggressive competition posed by competing destinations.

“The peaceful environment, competitive pricing, the extended product portfolio with a variety of choices has had an impact in persuading the charter operators to resume flights back to Sri Lanka. However, we have been persistent and not losing hope has paved the way in reality with this charter. This year we have succeeded in getting the attention of many new market segments and we are keen to continue this way. Sri Lanka has a lot to offer and it’s our responsibility to promote it effectively,” commented Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

As a result of the charter operations, arrivals from the UK as well as Ireland will see an increase in travellers and clients would have the convenience of booking a direct flight to Sri Lanka enabling a hassle free journey.

 

 

Aitken Spence Second Quarter Profits Up by 50%

8 Nov

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Aitken Spence PLC posted Rs. 540 mn as profits attributable to equity holders of the company in the second quarter, an increase of 50% year-on-year. Pre-tax profits rose by 26% to Rs. 973 mn while revenue rose by 70% to Rs. 9.8 bn, in the second quarter from last year. Earnings per share for the quarter was Rs. 1.33, an increase of 50% over the corresponding period.

Increase in revenue during the quarter from the tourism sector was mainly driven by new additions, Al Falaj hotel (Oman), Turyaa Chennai (India) and the new wing of Turyaa Kalutara. Resumption of operations at the Company’s thermal power plant contributed to the increase in revenue from the Strategic Investments sector, while the new segments in the freight and port management activities contributed to the increase in the Maritime & Logistics sector revenue.

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

The diversified Group’s six months results reflected profits attributable to equity holders of the company at Rs. 789 mn and pre-tax profits at 1.45 bn. Six-month revenue increased by 50 % to Rs. 17.38 bn, while earnings per share for the same period stood at Rs. 1.94.

Operations of the Group’s thermal power plant recommenced in April this year following a lapse of one year, now contributing to a more stable national power generation effort. The Group has made substantial investments over the years to establish a portfolio of thermal, wind, hydro and especially renewable energy production, and expects growth in this area of engagement both in the local and foreign markets. The interest in renewable energy has been worked into the Group’s sustainability initiatives and continues to be a key priority in the envisioned future of the Group involvement in the power sector.

The tourism sector whose lion share is represented by the Group’s chain of resorts spread across four countries faced a challenging quarter. The interest and start-up costs of new hotel projects in Sri Lanka and overseas affected the bottom line of the sector. Closure of a multitude of rooms in a few resorts in the Maldives for refurbishment coupled with lower demand from key source markets negatively affected the returns from the Maldives leisure segment. However, the Company is confident that the Maldives tourism sector would pick up in the short to medium term.

Group’s latest additions to Sri Lanka’s leisure portfolio, Heritance Negombo and RIU Ahungalla were fully operational during the quarter under review. The 500-room RIU hotel in Ahungalla contributed towards the resumption of scheduled charter flights to Sri Lanka from several countries during the winter season of 2016, which will contribute to better results for the rest of the year.

The Maritime & Logistics sector recorded an impressive performance in the quarter with significant increases in the top and bottom lines, strengthened by its maritime services and port management divisions.

An approximate 28 % increase in the income tax charge for the Group from Rs. 207 mn to Rs. 264 million was recorded for the quarter ending 30th September 2016.